Monday, November 18, 2013

Pinot Blanc

The white version of Pinot Noir

Pinot Blanc is the white version of Pinot Noir. It was only as the result of a congressional decision at Chalons in 1896 that this varietal was distinguished from Chardonnay. It was first identified in 1895 as the white version of Pinot Noir by Pulliat in Chassagne-Montrachet, and then in 1896 by Durand at Nuits-Saint-Georges. 

Pinot Blanc and the varietal Auxerrois (also referred to as Auxerrois de Laquenexy) are frequently referred to under the same designation Pinot Blanc or Pinot. This varietal is often used in the production of base wines for Crémant d’Alsace.

The eye

The wine is pale yellow in color with hints of green. The wine is clear and brilliant.
The nose is fresh and delicately fruity, offering notes of peaches and apples, with floral hints.
Pinot Blanc opens quickly. Pleasant and soft, with medium acidity, it represents a solid middle-ground within the range of Alsatian wines.

Food and wine pairing

Pinot Blanc can easily accompany starters or main courses. It pairs well with simple dishes such as fish, white meats, poultry and egg-based dishes (omelettes, eggs benedict, quiches, etc.). It is also delicious with soft cheeses.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Thanksgiving with Jacques Pépin, and Alsace Wine Paring Recommendations

Jacques Pépin, an internationally recognized French chef, has a favorite American holiday Thanksgiving!

Learn from Jacques how to prepare:

  • salmon three ways
  • roast turkey with apple cider glaze and mushroom and bread stuffing
  • bussels sprouts
  • gratin butternut squash
  • sweet and spicy cherry and ginger chutney
  • chocolate bourbon prune cake
  • pecan pie puff pastry
  • pears poached in citrus juice

Enjoy preparing this wonderful thanksgiving meal with Jacques, his wife and daughter. 
Recorded in 2003.

Alsace Wine Pairing Suggestions

Begin with an aperitif of Crémant d’Alsace a sparkling wine. This can be carried into the meal with the first of the salmon dishes. The soft dry flavor of the Cremant will go with the light lovely taste of salmon tartare.

Salmon dishes will also pair well with Alsace Pinot Blanc, as this wine has a light flavor, light acidity and will not overwhelm the fish.

Roasted turkey with the apple cider glaze and mushroom and bread stuffing is sweet and savory, so it will pair well with a vertical, dry Alsace Riesling. Known for its gastronomical excellence the Riesling will keep up in flavor with the dish without overpowering the flavors.

Try pairing the brussels sprouts, and gratin butternut squash, served with sweet & spicy cherry and ginger chutney with a Alsace Pinot Gris. A bit more nose and a bit more flavor this wine can be more dry or more sweet. Stay to the dry side on this one as not to compete with the food but to enhance the flavors of the food.

The chocolate bourbon prune cake, the pecan pie puff pastry, and the pears poached in citrus would all pair well with a Alsace Gewurztraminer.  Gewurztraminer means spiced grape and this is one of the most aromatic wines available anywhere. This wine has tropical aromas and flavors such as lychee, mango, and sweet gardenia. Again look for a Gewurztraminer a bit on the dry side, and you will find it is is an amazing complement to your amazing desert offering.


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